E3 2013 was a great one on a whole. They usually are, but this one was very special for a particular company that in the console gaming market was recently considered unable to fix its own problems.
I Have a Bad Feeling About This
Everyone saw a huge glacier in Sony’s way, and we all have known since the ill fated voyage of the Titanic, that a big ship can’t turn on a dime. Word on the street from gamers was it’s looking bad, and even though there were a lot of people that kept the faith in Sony’s gaming platform, there were also a lot of people that lost theirs. Thus creating a sizable exodus of people leaving what they once considered a luscious gaming promise land. They felt Sony didn’t keep their promise of “Play B3yond”.
Play B3yond – PlayStation 3 Commercial
Worst PlayStation commercial ever?
The lack of (and inability to add) cross-game chat and a unified party system along with other mistakes was validating a lot of doubters claims that Sony didn’t understand or was too late to the social, media and motion aspect of gaming. In a lot of ways they were right. Sony had the best hardware but didn’t support it the way the world expected them to.
The Best Sequels Always Remind Us What Made the Prequel so Beloved
Last week Sony utilized E3 as a nexus point to give us a double feature. Not only did they remind us their very consistent strength for rolling out awesome titles but also gave everybody déjà vu. It was as if Doc drove up and packed us all in his De Lorean. Destination? October 26, 2000. A moment in time when we all got hives from the excitement of being on the eve of the launch of the PlayStation 2. But here in present day, a “Return of the Jedi” moment is approaching. Sony has gained back their swag without coming off too smug. They know they made a lot of people upset, from developers to gamers and they made the right changes internally and externally to regain their strength, confidence as well as fans.
To Dagobah and Back
After being in a dark place, Sony under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, is now much more humble, responsive and organized. Fears of Sony being split up could partly be a cause for the rapid change, but I won’t go down that theory at this time. They do seem to be attempting to get all of their various wings, sister companies and subsidiaries of Sony focusing on how to be the one company, company. Sorry for the business speak, it comes from my suit and tie days working in a fortune 500 company. What I mean is much better cross selling of products. More direct and thoughtful tie-ins of many of their services. Sony seemingly won’t allow departments to operate in a vacuum anymore. Maybe more horizontal rather than vertical organization and an emphasis to kill silos of knowledge. I’m doing it again aren’t I?… In short, common sense seems to have sunk in. Maybe they’ve heard my rants on the podcast about what needs to be done? Maybe.
This is What You’re Looking For
The recent home-run of a presentation by Sony, is having a great effect already in the pre-orders market. The PS4 is by far accumulating the majority of early console orders over its direct rival Microsoft’s Xbox One. I know some of Microsoft’s missteps also helped Sony, but you can’t deny that Sony hasn’t changed for the better.
I decided to jump into this next generation at launch. That’s very rare for me. The only other time I have done so regarding a console was for the PS2. (FYI: my Dreamcast was about two weeks after its launch. Close but no cigar.)
So why the rare early bet this go round? Because Sony convinced me that they got their mojo back with a vocal developer community that’s gushing a lot of love for Sony as of late, great launch titles (expected), great console specs (expected), great price (unexpected), left the used game & sharing market alone, and an ad campaign that reminds all of us how great they were and possibly can be again. But lets keep it real, there are no guarantees.
Never Tell Me The Odds
Its way too early to call anybody a winner in this next console race, and believe it or not, Microsoft has a beast of a console on their hands as well. This will be no cake walk for Sony. But I’ve bought my ticket for PlayStation Episode IV. I hope Sony is ready for the weight they’re about to bare as the first ad rolled out attempts to assure us.
PS4: “Greatness Awaits”
Notice how the Greatness ad fits right in with previous great PlayStation commercials.
PS2: “PlayStation 9″
I’d Like Butter on my Popcorn and did the Movie Start Yet?
The E3 event and new ad campaign has gotten the world to believe in Sony again. Now don’t blow it Sony, because you’ve used up a lot of folks good graces in the past seven years. From this point on its all in the execution. Continue to respond to the gamers’ needs and maybe, just maybe, PlayStation can Return to Greatness.
PS: A little advice…. Don’t buy a console because you think its gonna be #1. Whats more important is, will it have the games/services/capabilities you want/enjoy whether or not it is at the top. Real happiness is a very personal thing.